Much of Pelican area workforce, from turkey plant to nursing home, may qualify for Frontline Payments

Much of the Pelican Rapids area workforce could enjoy an unexpected dose of cash—from the Minnesota Frontline Worker Payments program.

From Pelican Valley Senior Living health care employees; to West Central Turkeys workers; to Pelican Rapids school district staff—a large number of area workers could qualify. 

The $500 million set aside by the Legislature will be divided evenly among every eligible recipient – with a cap of $1,500 each. If an anticipated 667,000 people qualify, checks will be around $750, according to the state.

To thank those Minnesotans who worked on the frontlines during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency, Gov. Tim Walz signed Frontline Worker Payments into law on April 29.

The initiative enables those workers to apply for Frontline Worker Pay. Application dates are through July 22.

Eligibility criteria for Frontline Worker Pay were established by the Minnesota Legislature and are set forth in the Frontline Worker Pay law. The law identifies 15 frontline sectors. These lists are not exhaustive, but give a general idea of the type of employment covered under the frontline sectors.

You can review the eligibility criteria and further guidance at frontlinepay.mn.gov. 

If you are unsure whether you are eligible, you should review the law and guidance and truthfully fill in and submit the application during the 45-day application period.

Frontline sectors

Long-term care and home care

Examples of employers in this sector include: nursing homes; group homes; hospices; home health care; residential drug and alcohol facilities; and assisted living facilities.

Health care

Examples of employers in this sector include offices of physicians, chiropractors, optometrists, mental health specialists and dentists. It also includes: hospitals and medical clinics; family planning centers; substance abuse centers; dialysis centers; medical laboratories; blood and organ banks; freestanding ambulatory surgical and emergency centers; diagnostic imaging centers; and private air or ground ambulance services.

Emergency responders

Examples of employers in this sector include: police and fire departments; state police; sheriff’s offices; and public ambulance and fire services.

Public health, social service and regulatory service

Examples of employers in this sector include: social services organizations; air and water resource and solid waste management programs; and government regulatory entities.

Courts and corrections

Examples of employers in this sector include: the state court system; publicly administered jails, prisons and detention centers; district attorneys’ offices; public defenders’ offices; and publicly administered parole offices and probation offices.

Child care

Examples of employers in this sector include: child day care services; nursery schools; preschool centers; before- and after-school care; and Head Start programs.

Work requirements for Frontline Worker payments

To be eligible for Frontline Worker Pay, the applicant:

• must have been employed at least 120 hours in Minnesota in one or more frontline sectors between March 15, 2020, and June 30, 2021;
For hours worked during this time period, the applicant –

• was not able to telework due to the nature of the individual’s work and

• worked in close proximity to people outside of the individual’s household;

• must meet the income requirements for at least one of the 2020 or 2021 tax years –

• workers with direct COVID-19 patient care responsibilities must have had an adjusted gross income* less than $350,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly, or less than $175,000 for other filers and

• for workers in occupations without direct COVID-19 patient care responsibilities, the adjusted gross income* limit is $185,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly, or $85,000 for other filers; and

• must not have received an unemployment insurance benefit payment for more than 20 weeks on a cumulative basis for weeks between March 15, 2020, and June 26, 2021.

Schools, including charter schools, state schools and higher education

Examples of employers in this sector include: K-12 education schools; colleges, universities and junior colleges; professional schools; and business, technical and trade schools.

Food service, including production, processing, preparation, sale and delivery

Examples of employers in this sector include: crop and livestock production and processing; aquaculture; food and beverage manufacturing; wholesalers; food and beverage stores; restaurants and cafeterias; grocery stores; food service; mobile food services; and caterers.

Retail, including sales, fulfillment, distribution and delivery

Examples of employers in this sector include: retail stores and other direct selling establishments; electronic shopping; motor vehicle and parts dealers; gas stations; postal services; private mail centers, couriers and express delivery services; local messenger and delivery services; and general and refrigerated warehousing and storage facilities.

Temporary shelters and hotels

Examples of employers in this sector include: hotels; motels; bed-and-breakfasts; emergency and other relief services; community food services, food banks or pantries; soup kitchens; and temporary shelters.

Building services, including maintenance and janitorial

Examples of employers in this sector include: janitorial services; facility maintenance services; and security services.

Manufacturing

Examples of employers in this sector include: manufacturing facilities for products including, but not limited to, leather, apparel, wood, paper, petroleum, chemicals, plastics, rubber, metal, fabricated metal, computer and electronic products, medical equipment and supplies, and furniture.